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Is a Guide book needed for Porto to Santiago?

srtoothpaste

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Central Camino portuguese
I am looking to do 2 days on the coastal route and then go inland to the central route at villa de conde and finish with the spiritual route. Will I need to buy a guidebook to follow this route and find all the turnings?
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
I am looking to do 2 days on the coastal route and then go inland to the central route at villa de conde and finish with the spiritual route. Will I need to buy a guidebook to follow this route and find all the turnings?
You shouldn't need to buy a guidebook, although if you are taking a phone an app or two might be helpful. I found the route well-marked.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Wise Pilgrim app, specifically the map route feature, is all I used this past December. Due to flooding I also used google maps in conjunction to find alternative paths that would meet back up with the route but that’s it.
If you aren’t from there and already have access, go to a Vodophone store and get hooked up with local sim for data and the gps will be more accurate too
 
I laugh because I get lost very easily....even missed a turn on the Frances between Sarria and Portomarin. I will be praying that I figure out how to use offline maps for the Primitivo this September, and the Salvador would be, in the immortal words of Monty Python, "right out."
 
I downloaded the 2021 edition of brierley from my library (free) to have info about history and sights to visit without any additional weight. I read it at night or during breaks. I used the wise pilgrim app frequently to make sure I wasn’t wandering off into the countryside.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Wise Pilgrim app, specifically the map route feature, is all I used this past December. Due to flooding I also used google maps in conjunction to find alternative paths that would meet back up with the route but that’s it.
If you aren’t from there and already have access, go to a Vodophone store and get hooked up with local sim for data and the gps will be more accurate too
Agreed 100%. If you have a newer phone, consider getting an eSIM. I did that on a spur of the moment in Porto (using my hotel’s wifi). Having data has been a God’s send. I will never travel without getting an eSIM again.
 
I’m not using my Bierley book at all. The app I’m using the most is the Buen Camino, followed by the Wise Pilgrim. I’ve only needed the apps to help when I’m in a city. Otherwise the way is clearly marked.
Doing exactly the same right now. Works great. No need to carry extra weight
 
Agreed 100%. If you have a newer phone, consider getting an eSIM. I did that on a spur of the moment in Porto (using my hotel’s wifi). Having data has been a God’s send. I will never travel without getting an eSIM again.
Ohhhh, I had an eSIM too but the vodophone people in the shop set it up. I didn’t realize you could just go online and set it up yourself. Was there a particular site you did this on? I’m going to Spain again in June to do the Norte and it would be nice to not have to find a shop. Lol
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
The Wise Pilgrim app has a map on the coastal to switch at Vila do Conde to Arcos then Ratos. I am told that can be used offline to check your location. I plan on using that. There was a discussion of this around April 24. If you want a weightless and inexpensive option, Ellie Bieling at Pilgrimage Traveler, https://www.pilgrimagetraveler.com, publishes ebooks on the Porto to Santiago routes. There is one each for the Coastal and Central. They are inexpensive and full of pictures and detail. She also has kml files that are downloadable. I downloaded them to my kindle and iPhone and plan on using them when I start in a couple of weeks. I have to say she had been very kind to answer my emails with questions about the Portuguese routes. If you purchase her Ebooks, make sure you check the box for free updates before you download the books.
 
Simple answer, fast: nope.

Even on the CF I didn't need a guidebook. I had prepared a google map with all the "best" albergues and POIs on the way.
Same for my upcoming CP. Hopefully so, after I recovered from the loss and replacement of my previous car.

Hope you'll have a pleasant pilgrimage.
 
Ohhhh, I had an eSIM too but the vodophone people in the shop set it up. I didn’t realize you could just go online and set it up yourself. Was there a particular site you did this on? I’m going to Spain again in June to do the Norte and it would be nice to not have to find a shop. Lol
After a bit of looking at various options, I ended up going with Orange. This link was helpful. https://thesavvybackpacker.com/best-esim-for-europe-travel/

My sister told me about this as she was in South Korea for about 2 months.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Thanks everyone definitely weight will be saved with no book and i’ll look into these apps
 
I carried a guidebook on the CP last year and again this year, and have a number of apps loaded, both general purpose mapping apps like OSMAnd+ and IGN, and specialist apps like WisePilgrim. I did get 'disoriented' this year on the Variant Espiritual, but that was my own inattentiveness, not any lack of waymarking. There will always be some tit-bit of information in one place that isn't always in the others, and some things that I found our along the way about places to stay that weren't in any of these.

The Wise Pilgrim app has a map on the coastal to switch at Vila do Conde to Arcos then Ratos. I am told that can be used offline to check your location. I plan on using that.
There is a route in Wise Pilgrim, but on my version, it doesn't go to Arcos. I checked some other sources, and there is at least one alternative to the route shown in Wise Pilgrim, including one in OSMAnd+ that does join the CP Central route at Arcos. The WisePilgrim route appears to be the same as one on the CNIG website, and joins the CP Central route just before Rates. In addition, the Wise Pilgrim route displays a couple of short complementary routes that are not shown on the route provided by CNIG.
 
Thank you Dougfitz for catching my error. The Wisepilgrim maps were no longer loaded on my phone, so I grabbed the Brierley and village to Village books and saw them passing through Arcos. Figured WisePilgrim was the same.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I am looking to do 2 days on the coastal route and then go inland to the central route at villa de conde and finish with the spiritual route. Will I need to buy a guidebook to follow this route and find all the turnings?
Hi!
No. I walked the Portuguese from Porto to Santiago and the only confusing part is getting out of Porto (if you walk it - which I did, but many bus or train out of it bc of the heavy traffic and mostly street walking). I used an app (I have a legacy Camino Nina download) - it was enough to help avoid any confusion.

Buen Camino,
 
I don't think a guidebook is needed for ANY route. Easy to download an app if you want one. Or - many Camino routes are listed on Gronze .com and that can be accessed to find accommodations as long as you have wifi or data turned on on your phone.
 
Hi. You don’t need a book, the yellow arrows are literally every corner. I also used Mapy.cz which is brilliant and already has the Camino on it as I just cba with kml files on Google! I did the same thing starting at the coast in Porto then crossing over the central and there seem to be two routes I’ll try and attach a screengrab. (I did back track a bit to stay at the VAIRÃO Monastry which was even better than my stay at Case Fernanda). Knee injury at Tui ended my walk last year but I’m continuing next week and will do the Spiritual variant after Pontevedra which everyone recommends. Ebook at Pilgrimage Traveler looks good possibility. Bom Caminoh!
 

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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Adding some specifics to what is already provided: No.
I purchase books for information that may not be in the apps -- such as cultural or historical information. IMO -- There is not a lot of additional information related to historical pilgrimage in the books that is worth the additional weight on the Coastal route.
Navigation is easy on the coastal. One should be able to follow the arrows.
Albergue information is available on free services such as Gronze or other free apps.
I used Wise Pilgrim because I am accustomed to the interface and last year the app offered several "safer" pathways between Lisbon and Porto that I really/really appreciated. It also offers information on albergues and will highlight points of interest, as does Gronze. Gronze is probably the resource I use the most, but I like to have Wise on my phone for quick reference.
Buen camino~
 
Hi!
No. I walked the Portuguese from Porto to Santiago and the only confusing part is getting out of Porto (if you walk it - which I did, but many bus or train out of it bc of the heavy traffic and mostly street walking). I used an app (I have a legacy Camino Nina download) - it was enough to help avoid any confusion.

Buen Camino,
I found no confusion getting out of Porto starting from the cathedral. I just walked downhill to the river, along the river to the ocean, and north along the seashore. I can't imagine how one would get lost on this route.
 
Thanks just wondering then is there any short cuts/detours people found on the route that may not be marked on the apps, but were better options than say the main road at certain points
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Thanks just wondering then is there any short cuts/detours people found on the route that may not be marked on the apps, but were better options than say the main road at certain points
The good apps should show the alternative routes as much as any guide book. For example, looking at the Wise Pilgrim app it shows both ways into O Porriño with advice about which to take.
 
Wise Pilgrim app, specifically the map route feature, is all I used this past December. Due to flooding I also used google maps in conjunction to find alternative paths that would meet back up with the route but that’s it.
If you aren’t from there and already have access, go to a Vodophone store and get hooked up with local sim for data and the gps will be more accurate too
I know this is a bit of how long is a piece os string but how much data did you ask for?
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I found no confusion getting out of Porto starting from the cathedral. I just walked downhill to the river, along the river to the ocean, and north along the seashore. I can't imagine how one would get lost on this route.
There are different routes out of Porto. If you’re following the arrows and markers on the central route, they’re variably spaced and not always in a location easy to see or at crossroads. Not at all with the frequency of the Frances.
 
There are different routes out of Porto. If you’re following the arrows and markers on the central route, they’re variably spaced and not always in a location easy to see or at crossroads. Not at all with the frequency of the Frances.
That's why I specified that I hadn't taken the Central route out of Porto but had followed the river and seashore, only switching to the Central at Vila do Conde. It's a lot less confusing that way.
 
There are different routes out of Porto. If you’re following the arrows and markers on the central route, they’re variably spaced and not always in a location easy to see or at crossroads. Not at all with the frequency of the Frances.
Maybe you missed seeing them all. I didn't find following the Central route out of Porto at all difficult, and I wouldn't guarantee that I saw all the waymarks.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
I carried a guidebook on the CP last year and again this year, and have a number of apps loaded, both general purpose mapping apps like OSMAnd+ and IGN, and specialist apps like WisePilgrim. I did get 'disoriented' this year on the Variant Espiritual, but that was my own inattentiveness, not any lack of waymarking. There will always be some tit-bit of information in one place that isn't always in the others, and some things that I found our along the way about places to stay that weren't in any of these.


There is a route in Wise Pilgrim, but on my version, it doesn't go to Arcos. I checked some other sources, and there is at least one alternative to the route shown in Wise Pilgrim, including one in OSMAnd+ that does join the CP Central route at Arcos. The WisePilgrim route appears to be the same as one on the CNIG website, and joins the CP Central route just before Rates. In addition, the Wise Pilgrim route displays a couple of short complementary routes that are not shown on the route provided by CNIG.
I was about to download the WisePilgrim app, but it specified Camino Frances. Are there different apps for each route, or will I find Portgues on this one, too? Thanks!
 
Short answer : no.

Some online sources about where to sleep ; and a GPS map app like mapy.cz (click on "Mobile" to get it on your smartphone) should be all you need.
 
I was about to download the WisePilgrim app, but it specified Camino Frances. Are there different apps for each route, or will I find Portgues on this one, too? Thanks!
Wise Pilgrim, Buen Camino, and Gronze all allow you to select between different routes.
FarOut(? - a US trail app) has the Frances ( and, I think, the Portugues), but not the Primitivo.
 
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I was about to download the WisePilgrim app, but it specified Camino Frances. Are there different apps for each route, or will I find Portgues on this one, too? Thanks!
As I understand the pattern used by @wisepilgrim, there is a general app available without payment that covers most routes, but which doesn't have all the content that is available on the route specific apps that do require a payment. So I have both the general and the Portuguese Wise Pilgrim apps loaded. The Portuguese app doesn't have content about the Camino Frances, so I wouldn't expect the CF app to have CP related content.
 
I was about to download the WisePilgrim app, but it specified Camino Frances. Are there different apps for each route, or will I find Portgues on this one, too? Thanks!
There is a free, more basic "All routes" app. It has the maps and albergue listings, etc. But it doesn't have the more in-depth information about each location.

For the paid apps (but still relatively low cost, compared to the cost of a guidebook, or the cost of your Camino), there are specific apps for each route.
 

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